Fatima and John Paul II

A reader named Jim alerted me to this terrific article by Joseph Bottum, who will soon be taking over editor’s duties at First Things magazine (the second time this week someone has referred me to this publication – I will have to check it out – feeling nudged by the Holy Spirit).

Bottum writes a piece that is very informative for those who are not familiar with the story of Fatima, and what happened there. And if you are familiar with it, you may come away with a fuller appreciation of the relevance of John Paul’s long tenure and that message.

Indeed, for the pope, it all comes together: the repeated thirteens in the dates, the vision of a gun aimed at a pope, even the anticommunism. His latest book, Memory and Identity–a collection of philosophical conversations published last week in Italian and due out in English at the end of April–insists upon the centrality of Fatima. The assassination attempt was “not [Agca's] initiative, someone else masterminded it, and someone else commissioned it,” he declares, blaming the Soviet bloc for the shooting. It was a “last convulsion” of communism, trying vainly to hold back the tide that had turned against it. And the cause for that turn against the Soviet system? In part, at least–in large part, perhaps–the prayers and the attitudes inspired by the visions of Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta at Fatima.

Read it all – it’s awfully good.

Slightly, but only a little OT, I can’t help but wonder if this incredible worldwide action is somehow all related to Fatima and JPII. I had often wondered why Lucia and JPII were still alive…perhaps the Iraqi elections were the thing that needed to happen.

Also, this is kind of neat: Podcasting from the Vatican.

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